FBI chief James Comey learned nothing about honesty during his time at a hedge fund

One day after FBI Director James Comey stunned the public by announcing that although Democratic Presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton egregiously broke at least six Federal statutes in the handling of classified material, no charges would be brought against her due her perceived intent in the mishandling of classified documents, the former Assistant District Attorney is headed to Congress to face the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to answer as to why he failed to bring about an indictment recommendation despite the evidence he presented.

And among all this, what is perhaps most ironic is that Director Comey at one time worked for three years at a unique hedge fund, which prided itself on absolute truth, honesty, and transparency.

After he left government, Comey spent three years being grilled, or “probed,” as an executive at Bridgewater Associates, the $150 billion hedge fund founded by Ray Dalio that the New Yorker has labeled “the world’s richest and strangest hedge fund.” Dalio, who regularly ranks among the 50 or 60 wealthiest people on the Forbes 400 list, has built the highly successful fund since the 1970s on a platform of “radical transparency,” a principle that encourages—actually forces—deep questioning from the ranks of all leadership decisions.

It was just weeks after he joined Bridgewater—whose corporate culture of high-achieving intellectuals resembles a moneyed management cult that shares more in common with the 1970s personal-improvement fad est than it does with a typical Wall Street firm—that Comey was cornered by a similarly new 25-year-old employee. The junior associate interrogated the former Justice Department official on a seemingly illogical stance that Comey had taken in an earlier meeting. “My initial reaction was ‘What? You, kid, are asking me that question?’ … I was deputy attorney general of the United States; I was general counsel of a huge, huge company. No 25-year-old is going to ask me about my logic,” he recalled. “Then I realized ‘I’m at Bridgewater.’”

Comey said that, even though he was excited to embrace the new way of thinking, it took him at least three months to settle in with Bridgewater’s culture. “I finally relaxed and untied the knot in my stomach that would instantly appear when someone questioned me,” he recalled. “Bridgewater’s a hard place. … It’s a place filled with really smart people who are always going to tell you the truth, and that’s hard.” – Politico

It’s too bad Director Comey did not appear to learn much by being around honest and transparent individuals.

laws are for little people

We may never learn whether James Comey’s failure to bring an indictment recommendation was political, out of fear (we are talking about the Clinton’s here), or some other illegitimate reason beyond consciously believing Hillary had not broken Federal law, especially since she was already caught in a lie about not sending classified material unsecurely.  But either way, Director Comey’s reputation is now forever stained, and he was even criticized unmercifully by his former boss and mentor Rudy Giuliani.

Welcome to the new America, where laws are only for the little people.

Kenneth Schortgen Jr is a writer for Secretsofthefed.comExaminer.com,Roguemoney.net, and To the Death Media, and hosts the popular web blog, The Daily Economist. Ken can also be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the Angel Clark radio show.